It was just last week that I wrote about how no matter what the National Football League does wrong, it remains the most popular sport in America. It’s amazing how things can change in such a short period of time.
I really didn’t want to write again about the Ray Rice situation but new revelations last evening have essentially left me no choice. First of all, let me attack the Roger Goodell interview with CBS’ Norah O’Donnell on Tuesday night was not the worst interview of a guy under pressure I’ve ever seen but I wouldn’t categorize it as good either.
Goodell was as red-faced as I’ve ever seen him and I honestly don’t think it was because he was embarrassed. He looked as though he had spent the previous night on an all-night bender at Moe’s Tavern. While I believe O’Donnell asked him good questions, I can’t escape the fact she works for CBS which is a network that televises the NFL.
Anyway, Goodell told O’Donnell that the NFL has never received nor seen the infamous elevator tape of Rice striking his then-fiance Janay Palmer. OK so let’s say this is true. If the no one in the NFL has seen it then my question is why not? They go to the ends of the Earth to investigate guys who smoke marijuana or use adderall or in one case, use fertility drugs in an effort to help his wife get pregnant.
So why then would this organization with greater power and reach than any corporation outside the of the US Government decide it doesn’t need to see all the evidence?
But as of last evening, we are hearing that might not necessarily be true…
A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that he sent a copy of the video to the NFL Offices. Could be just some guy trying to get some attention right? You might think that until he was able to produce a 12-second audio recording from a number at the NFL Office in New York where a female voice is heard saying “You’re right, it’s terrible.”
She said that when asked by the official for confirmation of receiving the video. OK, so this doesn’t mean that a couple of people aren’t trying to take advantage of the situation but things are just too coincidental aren’t they?
I mean, a number from the NFL Office? The voice confirms that she had seen it? Something isn’t adding up.
Worse yet for Rice is that ESPN’s Outside the Lines is reporting that he spat at Palmer in the elevator just prior to knocking her out and witnesses have come forward saying he did earlier in the evening as well. In the grand scheme of things this added dimension doesn’t do much in terms of the perception of Rice. It doesn’t help by any means but he’s already enemy number one across the country.
Before I wrap it up, let me get to the $100,000 question; Is this enough to bring down Roger Goodell? Initially I didn’t think so. Not seeing the video is blatant incompetence but probably not worthy of losing his job.
However, if it can be proved that Goodell has lied to Norah O’Donnell and that people in the NFL saw the video then I believe that would be enough to end his term as Commissioner and I for one would be just fine with that.